Botanical Name :: Punica granatum
Indian Name :: Anar
The pomegranate is a very delicious and semi seedy fruit. It than any other fruit. The fruit has been held in high esteem from 1 time immemorial as a food and a medicine. It is symbolic of, plenty and a basket of pomegranates was chosen as a symbol of . the 18th International Horticultural Congress held in 1970. The pomegranate is a six sided fruit of fairly large size, with tough leathery skin. It is divided inside into several cells containing numerous angular seeds. These seeds are surrounded by a succulent coating of pink or crimson color with a delicious sub acid flavour. The sweet ruby-pink and the sour varieties are most popular.
The fruit has a thin smooth skin. It is dark green in color at first, but as the Pomegranate ripens, it changes to bright yellowish or orange. Inside, the thick juicy flesh has a soft melting quality, and may be yellow or pink. It has a delicate aroma and delicious flavor.
Origin and Distribution
The pomegranate is a native of Iran and Afghanistan. It was grown in the hanging gardens of Babylon and was known in ancient Egypt. The pomegranate spread early round the Mediterranean and eastwards to India, China and Japan. In India, it is cultivated mostly around Pune, in Maharashtra and Dholka in Gujarat and to a limited extent in Uttar Pradesh.
Minerals and Vitamins
|Moisture – 78.0%||Calcium – 10 mg|
|Protein – 1.6%||Phosphorus – 70 mg|
|Fat – 0.1%||Iron – 0.3 mg|
|Minerals – 0.7%||Vitamin C – 16 mg|
|Carbohydrates – 14.5%||Small amount of Vitamin B Complex|
|Fibre – 5.1%|
|* Value per 100 gm’s edible portion||Calorific Value – 65|
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Pomegranate
The pomegranate has been regarded as a food medicine of great importance. All parts of the tree, the roots, the reddish brown bark, leaves, flowers, rind and seeds, have featured in medicine for thousands of years. The medical authorities of ancient India have described it as a light food and a tonic for the heart. The ancient medical writers of Arabia regarded it as a fruit which is good for the inflammation of the stomach and pain of the heart. The sweet varieties of the fruit are considered a good laxative, while those which are intermediate between sweet and sour are regarded as valuable in the stomach inflammations and heart pain.
The juice from the fresh fruit is an excellent cooling beverage for alleviating thirst in cases of fevers and sickness. It acts on the liver, heart and kidneys and tones up their functions. It supplies the required minerals and helps the liver to preserve vitamin A from the food. It increases the body’s resistance against infections, particularly tuberculosis.
- Digestive Disorders:- Pomegranate juice is of great value in digestive disorders. It is an appetizer, a digestive food item and is useful for patients suffering from colitis and mucous. It binds the stools and tones up the intestines. A tablespoonful of the juice mixed with equal quantity of honey can be given with beneficial results in bilious vomiting i.e. bile containing fluid and nausea, burning in chest due to excessive secretion of bile, flatulent colic and morning sickness.
- Diarrhea and Dysentery:- The chief value of the pomegranate is its astringent properties which cause cells to shrink and it is a valuable food medicine for diarrhea and dysentery. If the patient develops weakness on account of profuse and continuous purging, he should be given repeatedly about 50 ml. of pomegranate juice to drink. This will control his diarrhea. If the patient passes blood with stools, this will also stop by the use of fresh pomegranate juice. The flower buds are also astringent and are useful in chronic diarrhea and dysentery, especially of children.
- Intestinal Worms:- The bark, both of the root and the stems of pomegranate tree, is well known for its anthelmintic properties of destroying parasitic worms. The root-bark is, however, preferred as it contains greater quantity of the alkaloid punicine than the stem-bark. This alkaloid is highly toxic to tapeworms. 90 to 180 ml. of the cold decoction of the bark, preferably fresh bark, should be given three times at an intervals of one hour to an adults. A purgative should be given after the last dose. The dose for children is 30 to 60 ml. The decoction is also used for expelling tapeworms.
- Fevers:- The juice of the fruit with the addition of a little saffron is useful in fevers to allay thirst. A sherbet of the ripe fruit is beneficial in the treatment of typhus, gastric and. asthmatic fevers. The root bark is also given as a febrifuge in-i.e. to prevent-fevers.
- Anal Itching:- The skin of the pomegranate fruit is considered highly beneficial in the treatment of anal itching. This nasty discomfort may result from unhygienic habits or from worm infection. The skin of the fruit should be roasted till it is brittle and black. It is then powdered. The powder is mixed with a little vegetable oil and applied over the anus.
- Kidney and Bladder Stones:- The seeds of sour and sweet pomegranate are useful as a medicine. A tablespoonful of seeds, ground into a fine paste can be given along with a cupful of horse gram soup to dissolve gravel in kidneys and bladder.
- Teeth and Gum Disorder:- Powder of the dry rind mixed with pepper and common salt is applied as a very good dentifrice i.e. tooth paste or powder. Its regular application strengthens the gum, stops bleeding, prevents pyorrhea, deans the teeth and preserve them for a long time
The pomegranate is used as a table fruit. Its juice is regarded as a delicacy and is made into excellent sherbet and drunk with the addition of water and sugar. It is also used in preparing syrups, ice-creams, jellies and marmalades. The pomegranate has a very good keeping quality. It can be kept well for about six months in cold storage. Its thick rind protects its succulent seeds from much rough handling.
The fruit should be eaten immediately after they are cut open as the seeds lose their color quickly. Pipes should not be swallowed while eating the fruit. This is said to have bad effect in the intestines and may cause appendicitis.